Use Your Business Objectives to Define Goals
One of the best ways to create specific and attainable goals for your website is to base them on business and strategic marketing objectives you have developed. This will help you with a definitive direction for your website design or a website redesign.
We all want to increase website traffic; but this will not necessarily mean you will meet any of your business objectives. For instance, you may receive a high quantity of visitors, but they may be visitors who never engage with the company. A better goal would be to find a way to decrease bounce rate; this would in turn keep your visitors on your site longer.
Research, research and more research
It’s obvious, but doing proper research is sometimes overlooked. It’s easy to get distracted by some of the trends in web design, but remember that what’s trendy isn’t always right, or may not be right for your website. Assuming you use Google Analytics or a similar tool, your current website has compiled a wealth of information. Use it. Do you get traffic from other countries? Maybe you need to consider support for multiple languages. Do you have a high percentage of visits from mobile devices? Make sure your new website is created with adaptive technology. The list goes on, and is different for everyone. But don’t let anyone tell you what you need without looking at real data.
Who is your customer?
We call it an Avatar. Along with the basics such as age, gender and income, you may want to also consider more in-depth information such as where your clients shop, what other websites they frequent, how often they purchase your product or service, and their opinion of your company.
A sitemap is a list of all pages of a web site. This is accessible to automatic crawlers as well as real visitors and users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. Use it to determine the new architecture of your website. Make sure the new navigation is an improvement from the old one. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
Optimize your images for web. It is extraordinarily important to have images loaded fast when it comes to SEO and visitor experience, and images are often the largest assets on your pages. You can use a free on-line tool at http://www.picmonkey.com. Free image editing plus a ton of special effects, fonts and more!
Old pages that don’t exist or have new names: Use 301 redirect
This is the top thing to remember if you’d like to avoid an SEO disaster. If at all possible, don’t change your URL structure at all. But if you have to, then decide which new pages correspond in the new architecture to the old ones. Then redirect the old URLs to the new pages. This will keep Google as well as your visitors happy.
Test and test
And yes, test some more. This is the time you can (and should) do as much testing as possible. Test plugins, test widgets, test layouts, test images, test fonts… Did I mention that you should do some testing?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]